Life By Kristen

Go, and embrace your liberty. And see what wonderful things come of it. – Little Women

Archive for the tag “gratitude”

Thankful Thursday (#1)

I’m really trying to be more conscious of gratitude, life’s simple pleasures, and my priorities and so I’ve decided to turn ‘throwback Thursday’ into Thankful Thursday. 


My Dad always used to say “be aware of your surroundings” which he almost always meant in a safety way ( like know where the exit signs are). This morning I was walking around the property that I work at  and looked up to see the beauty of the place I go to five days out of the week. The sun was shining with just the perfect angle on the ocean that makes it glimmer; it was warm but there was a nice ocean breeze; and there was this quiet, stillness that just made me look around in wonder.  I actually thanked God aloud for this amazing place and the gorgeous day.

I’ve been at my job for 6 years this month and I know I take for granted it’s lovely location on an oceanside cliff. Truly, I am blessed not just in the work I do, but also the people. The location is the icing on the cake and I wish I could capture that moment to remind me when I’m on a commute filled with traffic and tourists. It was such a quick, fleeting moment, but something that really impacted my day and attitude. I’m really going to try hard to take my Dad’s advice about being aware to not just be safe, but to really take and appreciate all that is around me.


This photo does no justice to the beauty of my work environment,

but this is the view from my office window

Thanksgiving 2013

I’ve learned practicing gratitude is a daily practice that keeps me grounded and reminds me of what is important, but with my favorite holiday just 2 days away, I wanted to take a moment to call out some of the things I am especially grateful for this year.

2013 has been my year- I feel like I’ve finally settled into my self and the life I actually have, as opposed to thinking about what I don’t or the mistakes of the past. That’s a great feeling. Maybe it’s from turning 30 and feeling like I can leave so  much of the unsettling part of my 20s behind, or maybe it’s just because I finally get that I don’t have to know all the answers or have a 5 year plan. Whatever it is, I am most grateful this year for the calming grace that I have earned.

I’m grateful for my health- even though I may weigh more than I’d like and make a few more creaks when I get out of bed than I did a few years ago, I’ve never felt better.

I’m eternally and always grateful for my family and my friends, but as life happens around me, they become even more important. I’d be lost without them all.

The past few months as I’ve tried figuring out what’s next for me in life, I’ve realized that I work with some really remarkable people. Even when the day-to-day at work becomes annoying and stressful, the people at my workplace and the various folks I work with on a number of different projects at work are pretty awesome. They are smart, fun, and teach me so much every day ( even if it sometimes is just random youtube finds!)

This time 2 years ago, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to keep my house. In the middle of a separation and a money situation from hell, I was sure I would end up bankrupt and living back with my parents. I’m grateful that I was able to keep my house, learn how to budget and make sacrifices financially. As much as home ownership can be a pain in the arse sometimes, I’m grateful for the roof over my head and that I will only leave the house when it’s on my own terms, not someone else’s.

I haven’t spoken much about it on the blog because I’ve wanted to keep aspects and people in real life a bit separate from the entire interwebs, but I’m most grateful this year for finding love. The man in my life has been with me only for 8 months, but it’s the most right feeling I’ve ever had with another person- something I never thought I’d find. I finally understand all those silly love songs and my level of cheesiness and romance sometimes even makes me want to roll my eyes at myself.

Wishing you and yours a most wonderful Thanksgiving holiday filled with only the best!


Practicing Gratitude

The funny thing about practicing gratitude is how easily it becomes a part of your life. I believe very strongly that being mindful of what I was thankful/blessed with is one of the few things that helped me through the hell of a separation/divorce/life rebuilding. There were days when it was a struggle to think of 5 things that I was thankful for- some of the darkest and saddest days included things like my comfy sweatpants, not running out of tissues, or having a Walgreens near my house to buy cookie dough at. But the list would often be more than 5 things and slowly made me realize that my situation was just temporary and would change. Now I find that there is so much I am blessed with in life and keeping this perspective is what gets me through bad days still. I don’t think it’s as a cheery as always being optimistic or looking on the bright side, but more just a reminder that no matter how bad things seem, there is always something positive and wonderful about a day in one’s life. As things have turned around for me and I’m starting over, the act of taking time to practice gratitude has become an essential part of my day. Even when I don’t remember to write them all down, I make sure to say thank you to people in either small or big ways, hold doors for strangers, and other small acts of kindness that help me remember there is so much to be thankful for.

Lately I’m grateful for….

  • Having someone make me coffee in the morning. It’s such a small and simple thing, but my man saves me a good few minutes in my morning running around by turning the machine on. Also, somehow coffee made by him always tastes a million times better.
  • My coworkers. I’m incredibly blessed to work with some awesome people.
  • Quiet nights in with good books and some of my favorite shows.
  • Good, comfortable, cute flats.
  • The return of soup season.
  • My family & especially my friends who have become family.
  • Audio books
  • Native squash
  • Purging through closets, basement and house and finding new homes for my stuff which I no longer need.
  • Peace of mind

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